Monday, April 25, 2016
Seems like hardly a nanosecond ago Donald Trump, the Republican front runner, sounded like an ignorant, intolerant, sexist, racist buffoon. And since his big win in the New York primary last week, he's put much of the nastiness on hold and, according to the mainstream media, is sounding more "presidential." Talk about setting the bar low.
Welcome to Trump's new reality show: The Pivot. In a flash, he's all but replaced his controversial campaign manager Corey Lewandowski with Paul Manafort, the embodiment of the very political establishment which Trump excoriates, a theme on which he's built his entire campaign; a campaign fueled by the candidate's Morton Downey-esque blistering persona and incendiary rhetoric.
But now Trump appears to be on a calculated mission to make nice with the GOP, RNC chairman Reince Priebus, and moderate voters in an attempt to win enough delegates (preferably the 1237 minimum) to win the nomination and avoid an all-out war at the party's convention this Summer in Cleveland.
Manafort, who cut his teeth delegate-hunting in 1976 for President Gerald Ford, dropped a bomb last Thursday while addressing about 100 RNC members in a closed-door meeting in Hollywood, FL. He 'assured' the group that Trump's campaign thus far has been an act. That he's been playing a "part."
"He gets it," Manafort told RNC members. "The part that he's been playing is now evolving into the part that you've been expecting. The negatives will come down, the image is going to change, but 'Crooked Hillary' is still going to be 'Crooked Hillary.'"
The Pivot even had Trump criticizing North Carolina's recent "bathroom bill." When asked whether well known transgender reality star Caitlyn Jenner would be free to use any bathroom she wanted in Trump Tower, he said, "That is correct."
The big question raised by The Pivot is, what happens when a candidate like Trump, whose 'authenticity' and anti-establishment bona fides have been the primary source of his appeal, suddenly appears inauthentic and very establishment? And how will his legion of angry blue-collar white dudes feel about their hero's new open bathroom policy?
Trump's rabidly loyal fans will surely be put to the test now. Will these same folks, who've unequivocally excused and defended his inflammatory rhetoric over the past year, accept an abrupt shift to the center by "Lyin' Donald?" Have his comments about North Carolina and Caitlyn Jenner stunned them into re-thinking the 'truer' conservative Ted Cruz? Does Trump now appear like the closet Democrat many have suspected him to be all along?
Stay tuned to The Pivot. The next episodes promise to be quite titillating...
Friday, April 15, 2016
"The system, folks, is rigged! It's a rigged, disgusting, dirty system."
Welcome to the newest Donald Trump campaign strategy, or perhaps the launch of his exit strategy. Still hot under the collar from getting his unprepared, unorganized butt kicked last Saturday by Ted Cruz, who snagged all 34 Colorado delegates in that state's GOP convention, Trump is starting to sound like a man who's finally found the right excuse to get the hell out of politics, a "dirty" business he got into only to feed his rapacious id and have some fun for a few months.
But little did Trump know that he'd become the clear front runner by awakening the "silent majority," those mad-as-hell-and-I'm-not-gonna-take-it-anymore blue-collar white dudes who misguidedly think the best candidate to fix the broken, inequitable system they feel screwed them all these years is the Ivory Tower billionaire who's exploited that very same system to become rich and powerful beyond their wildest dreams....all the while bankrupting businesses, hiring undocumented workers and refusing to support a $15/hour minimum wage increase.
"The economy is rigged, the banking system is rigged, there's a lot of things that are rigged in this world of ours," a shrill Trump ranted at his Albany, NY rally this week. "Rules are no good when you don't get Democracy. The rules are no good when they don't count your vote....when you have to play dirty tricks to pick up delegates!"
Trump's latest salvo puts the blame of his Colorado loss not on his ineptitude and ground-game deficiency, but squarely on an allegedly corrupt process that disenfranchised voters and stole his delegates. A process, mind you, that Cruz seemed to understand and capitalize on quite well.
Which fits nicely into a future narrative of, 'I could be president, I would've been president, but the corrupt Republican establishment's backroom brokers changed the rules so I couldn't win. I'm outta here!'
This would be followed by lawsuits against the GOP, individual states and the U.S. government. And as a final kick in RNC Chairman Reince Priebus's balls, Trump would announce a last-minute independent candidacy, all but assuring a Hillary Clinton landslide in November. A scenario which, by the way, fits my narrative of a secret conspiracy by Trump to help Madam Secretary get elected.
It should be noted, however, that even Trump doesn't believe his own "rigged system" conspiracy. "I'm not complaining about the states I won...those are ok!," Trump smugly boasted. That's been Trump's mantra from day-one: 'When I win, it's great. When I lose, it's everyone else's fault.'